President & CEO
Micropulse was founded in 1988 in the garage of an Indiana farmhouse on East State Road 14 by tool-and-die maker Brian Emerick. Twenty years later, the multimillion dollar medical device manufacturing company is housed in a state-of-the-art 100,000 square foot manufacturing facility—and it’s still right next door to the farmhouse where the business started.
“My roots are here,” said Emerick, Micropulse’s president and CEO. “The location is perfect. The people are great. And Whitley County is a good, positive place to do business. The County and the EDC always step up to the plate and offer whatever help is needed to get things going.” In 2007, that help came in the form of tax abatements and matching funds to help finance the addition of 47,000 square feet of manufacturing space to the existing facility. In particular, that meant help financing an extension of the sewer infrastructure to accommodate the company’s growth. “Both the county and the state pitched in matching funds to extend the sewer system,” said Emerick. “We wouldn’t have done it without them.”
The company also received $25,000 through the state Skills Enhancement Fund which is earmarked to reimburse costs for training full-time Indiana resident employees. Because ongoing training is so much a part of the company culture, Micropulse has continuously accessed the SEF and other programs to develop and train the company’s advanced manufacturing workforce.
“Columbia City is the perfect location for us,” said Emerick. “It puts us close enough to Warsaw to easily do business with the biotech industries located there, but not so close that we compete for talented employees.” The central location also gives Micropulse easy access to customers outside of Indiana, providing fast, convenient transpor- tation routes to anywhere in the country.
Emerick has nothing but praise for the Indiana workforce. “Northern Indiana is rich with skilled manufacturing talent, and the work ethic is second to none,” he said, adding, “Hoosiers have a ‘roll up your sleeves and do what needs to be done’ attitude.”
Recruiting outside of Indiana has never been an issue, either. That 30 mile radius is an easy commute that reaches into five other counties, ensuring a good selection of qualified employees. “Why hire from halfway across the country when we have what we need right here?” said Emerick.
A Positive Environment
According to Emerick, Whitley County provides a positive, proactive environment for local businesses. County officials and the Economic Development Corporation provide a “natural incubator,” Emerick said, “offering whatever help businesses need to succeed, whether it’s providing advice, contacts, or help with securing financing or abatements.” Micropulse is something of a business incubator, as well.
Currently there are three start-up companies housed in the Micropulse facility. Additionally, at any one time there are up to five high school and/or college co-op students or interns working at Micropulse. “Ongoing training is part of the Micropulse culture,” said Emerick.
Aside from the business benefits offered by being located in Northeast Indiana, there are the many recreational advantages to consider. “My family has had a cabin on Lake George for years,” said Emerick. “We enjoy all types of water sports—skiing, wake boarding, tubing, sailing.” In addition, Micropulse employees have easy access to all the attractions of the City of Fort Wayne, from the new downtown ballpark to the historic Embassy Theatre, as well as suburban communities, smaller cities and towns, and rural living. There’s something for every taste.
More Growth in the Future
Micropulse is a company founded on integrity and doing what’s right for the customer. “If I am known for anything,” said Emerick, “I want to be known for integrity and doing what’s right. If you do what’s right, business will come.”
That philosophy has been borne out by the consistent growth of the company. “We’ve virtually doubled every year up to now,” said Emerick, who is quick to credit his employees as the architects of the company’s success. “Our people are dedicated and creative,” he said. “They are responsible for moving the company forward.”
An ongoing area of growth at Micropulse is cellular manufacturing, a process where all steps in the manufacturing of a specific component are done in one place. “It increases employee ownership because they are involved in every step of a product’s process from start to finish,” said Emerick.